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Ian Pollard – United Utilities #UU Ignores Dry Weather Costs

United Utilities Grp UU updates before its full years results are announced on the 23rd May that Group revenue is expected to be higher than last year, largely reflecting allowed regulatory revenue changes. and underlying operating profit for 2018/19 is also expected to be higher than 2017/18. Costs arising from the exceptional period of dry weather in the summer of 2018 are expected to have impacted reported operating profit but.It is intended to exclude these costs from the underlying profit measures. Amazing what accountants can get away with  these days. Never mind those costs Charles, just put them down to dry weather. In January Ofwat published the results of its annual company monitoring  which measures the quality and transparency of company reporting and the level of trust and confidence that customers and other stakeholders can place in it. United Utilities is delighted to claim that it has achieved the  highest category available.

Crest Nicholson Hldngs CRST announces for its AGM that as noted previously the business has faced challenges from lower customer demand in higher price areas, with ongoing political and macro-economic uncertainty. This is likely to continue as political uncertainty becomes more prevalent. Sales rates are however consistent with previous guidance and forward sales are  encouraging, with over 50% of our open market sales for the year, already secured.

A.G.Barr plc BAG is increasing its final dividend for the year to the 26th January by 7% having delivered what the Chief Executive regards  as another strong performance. Revenue has grown by 8% and 5.6% respectively over the past two years, markets are robust and the company continues to see continued growth opportunities.Basic earnings per share  fell by 2.3% and profit before tax rose by 2,5% A significant increase in volume share was obtained  within the total UK soft drinks market.

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Ian Pollard – Vodafone’s #VOD Robust Momentum Produces Large Sales Fall

Vodafone Group plc VOD as expected the third quarter to the 31st December was fairly disastrous for Vodaphone and it can not all be put down to the adoption of  IFRS, the sale of Qatar and foreign exchange headwinds which is the usual ready to hand list of pre prepared excuses for major international companies caught between a rock and a hard place. The company claims that the quarter produced robust commercial momentum a statement which appears to be completely contradicted by the figures with revenue in the Rest of the World down by an unacceptably high 11.1% and Europe by 5.6%  to give an average drop of 6.8%. Vodafone Business allegedly became a leading :  international challenger in fixed, ‘industrialising’ IoT – in fact so leading, according to the Chief Executive, that its revenue fell by 0.5%. This trading performance was what management expected in the third quarter. Organic adjusted EBITDA on an underlying basis is now expected to grow by about 3% for 2019.

Barr AG plc BAG  Reports a continued positive trading performance for the year to the 26th January with revenue expected to be up by about.5%. Strong trading and the continued success of its key innovation have led to further market share volume gains in UK soft drinks, with volume up 3.0% and value by a healthy 8.0%. Despite the threat of further regulatory intervention, continued profitable growth is anticipated for the coming financial year.

SCISYS Group plc SSY The Directors expect that the Company’s trading results for 2018 will comfortably meet current market guidance in respect of revenues and adjusted operating profit. The Group’s order book remains strong and it continues to see solid organic growth across the Group, notably in its Space and Enterprise Solutions & Defence  division.

Bonmarche Holdings BON Expects the Group’s cash reserves  to be adequate to meet its liquidity requirements, even at the lowest end of the PBT range, and when the cash balance is at its lowest, around the end of March. In the 13 weeks to the 29th December sales fell by 8.1% and in the 39 weeks to the same date they were down 2.7%. Online sales however were strong with rises of 22.2 and 26.5%.

RTC Group RTC strikes a positive note and the Chairman is extremely pleased and encouraged by “The continued growth of Group revenue and profits and the improvement in net debt position,  especially in light of the uncertainty surrounding the UK economy.

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Corporate news review Tuesday 26th September 2017

AA Plc AA. Reports a robust H1 for Roadside and Insurance. Trading EBITDA rose 1% to £193m reflecting gains in insurance broking as well as reduced Head Office costs. Chairman John Leach said the Board “is very pleased that Simon Breakwell has agreed to take the role of CEO on a permanent basis”

Animalcare Group ANCR says pre-merger trading for 12 months ended 30th June 2017 was in line with the Board’s and market expectations. Total revenues were up 7.9% at £15.87m, underlying operating profits grew 11.8% to £3.57m. The enlarged group is confident in prospects for growth and expectations for earnings accretion in 2018 and beyond.

Barr (A.G.) BAG says interim revenues grew 8.8% to £136.6m, while PBT fell to £19.4m (2016 : £21.1m) including an exceptional credit of £1.9m. Free cash flow of £20m has resulted in a net cash position of £7.9m (2016 : net debt (£6.6m) and an 5% hike in the interim dividend has been declared. The Company remains on course to meet the FY expectations.

Ebiquity EBQ reports a 5.6% rise in total revenue to £44.6m, and underlying PBT down 21.8% to £6.2m, in line with market expectations and implementation of growth acceleration plan. Underlying operating cashflow conversion increased significantly to 89.2%, while net debt decreased as expected by £1.8m to £26.3m. EBQ remains on track to meet FY expectations.

Netcall NET reports a significant increase in mix of cloud services contracts, with an order book of contracted future minimum revenues up 13% to £17m. Annualised recurring core revenues increased by 8% to £11.8m, while adjusted EBITDA increased 1% to £4.49m. A final dividend of 1.16p is proposed, an increase of 5%.

Thomas Cook TCG publishes a pre-close trading update, and says summer 2017 is closing out as expected, with FY underlying EBIT outlook unchanged. Overall Group bookings remain in line with expectations, up 11% compared to this time last year, with average selling prices up 1%.

Transense Technology TRT reports FY revenues steady at £2m (2016: £2.08m), and pre tax losses from continuing operations of £2.16m (2016: Pre tax profit of £1.59m, adjusted pre tax loss of £1.17m). Executive Chairman David Ford, said: “The forward looking cash flow based on the anticipated level of activity indicates that the Group should have sufficient funds available for the short to medium term”

United Utilities UU. says FY revenue is expected to be just under 3% higher than the first half of last year, reflecting regulatory revenue changes, partly offset by the accounting impact of Water Plus business retail joint venture, which completed on 1 June 2016. Underlying H1 operating profit for 2017/18 is expected to be higher than the first half of 2016/17

Centamin Sees Strong Growth

Centamin CEY Profit before tax for the year to the end of December  grew strongly from $58,407,000 to $266,829,000, as 2016 became the 7th consecutive year of production growth. Profit sharing with the Egyptian government started in quarter 3 and a final dividend of 13.6 US cents is proposed. Production rose by 26% whilst production costs fell sharply from $713 per oz. to $513 per oz. EBITDA rose by 145% and basic earnings per share by 313%. Centamin is debt free and ends the year with $428 of free assets.

TalkTalkTelecom TALK The new fixed low price plans introduced in October have proved a success and have delivered lower churn and positive net adds, which have continued so far, into quarter 4. Early life churn rates have fallen to less than half historic rates. There has however been a short term impact on group revenue, corporate and off net and on net adds all of which fell. Excuse the jargon. it is theirs not mine. Mobile, fibre and ethernet all rose and there was strong growth in third quarter EBITDA.

A.G. Barr BAG 2016 was a challenging year for the UK soft drinks market and 2017 and no improvement is expected for 2017 which is expected to be another year of uncertain economic conditions. Like for like revenue for the year to 28th January is expected to have risen by 1.5%. The successful introduction of new products and tight cost control helped to stave off the years challenges and it is anticipated that profit expectations for the year will be met.

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